Sunday, July 31, 2011

Rafting on the Red Deer River

We've had some great raft trips this summer, and there's still plenty of time this August to book yours! For information about our river floats, prices, and dates, call us at 403-346-2010.

For a rafter's-eye view of the river, check our YouTube channel here.

Friday, July 22, 2011

A quick note about Sunday's edible plant walk

For anyone wondering, my edible plant walk on Sunday, July 24th will be going ahead as planned. As of today the weather forecast for Sunday looks good, so we should have a decent day for walking.

Here comes the "however", though:

However, the recent rains we've had have flooded out a few parts of the trails we'll be using. It's not impassible, but if you're planning to come down I'd recommend wearing suitable shoes for wading.

The walk goes at 2 pm down here at the Nature Centre. Admission is by suggested donation of $3/person or $10/family.

I hope to see you there!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What do you get when you cross a duck and a chicken?

I'm not sure, but it would probably look something like an American Coot (Fulica americana).

The little white-billed black "ducks" you'll see paddling through the cattails on the Gaetz Lakes right now are actually Coots, which are members of the Rallidae or Rail family. If you get a chance to look closely at a coot while it's swimming, you'll notice that its feet are lobed rather than webbed like a duck's would be. Because of their lobed feet, Coots (also known as Mudhens) are much better able to get about on land than most ducks can.

Coots are considered weak fliers, and their comparatively small wings mean that they need a real running take-off to get in the air.

I took the above photo of a Coot and her young a few years ago, and her babies were certainly in the awkward stage. There are few things on the lake as homely as newly-hatched, orange-headed Coots. I'm not sure they even qualify as "so ugly they're cute", to be honest. At the moment the young on the West Lake are past that phase, though, and busily foraging through the pond weed and algae with their mother. I took a bit of video of them this morning, and while it was too sunny today to get a really good shot of them, you can watch them feeding on our YouTube channel here.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

12 Seconds of Deer

We had a bit of an unusual visitor at lunch today at the Centre. Not unusual because deer are rare in Sanctuary -- far from it -- but because we don't often see them out so casually in the middle of the day. This particular deer browsed a couple of the bushes up by the building and then headed off down into the trees.

You can see it right here, since I happened to be out with the camera at the time.

Don't forget to check out our YouTube channel at I hope to be shooting video out in the Sanctuary regularly over the summer.

Monday, July 11, 2011

A rare rafting opportunity!

Rafting season is finally upon us! Now that the nice weather is making more of an appearance, it's time to get out on the river and have some fun. This coming Friday, July 15, will be the first installment of a novel and thoroughly enjoyable float we're running this year: moonlight raft tours. It will be a late night, but well worth it as we'll get to see life on the river after dark. Seats are $45 + GST/person for KWNCA members and $50 + GST/person for non-members. There are still a few seats left; call the Kerry Wood Nature Centre at 403-346-2010 for more information or to reserve your spot.

If you're not able to make the July run of the Full Moon Float, don't fret! We'll be running another one on Saturday, August 13. Registration is open now for this trip, as well as for all of our regular Tuesday/ Thursday night Raft and Roasts and Saturday afternoon 3-hour Scenic Tours. Or, if you prefer a more intimate trip with your family, private tours are also available. Call the Kerry Wood Nature Centre for more information.

Happy Summer, everyone!

Thursday, July 07, 2011

First'ish' Friday!

Join us in the Marjorie Wood Gallery (located in the Kerry Wood Nature Centre) as we are featuring Teresa Stieben: “Feathers and Flash, avian delights and the bounty of nature” a solo exhibition. Our addition to the First Friday calendar, starts at 5 and continues until 7pm. Or, stroll through the sanctuary and stop in to our 'meet the artist' reception Saturday, July 9th from 1-3 pm. For more information, please call us at (403)346-2010 or for information regarding Teresa and her works please click on the link:

Happy First (sort of) Friday everyone! And thanks for your continued support to our local arts community!

Monday, July 04, 2011

One-eyed Sphinx Moth

I noticed this beauty hanging out at our front door here at the Nature Centre this morning. It's called a One-eyed Sphinx Moth (Smerinthus cerisyi). If the name seems a little odd, it's only because this moth has its wings folded. If the wings were spread, you'd be able to see black spots with bluish rings inside them, all surrounded with pink and beige.

The eye spots are a means of defence for this sphinx and many other moths. Suddenly flashing eye spots at an approaching bird may confuse the predator enough to scare it away.

For a look at the spread wings, check out the specimen here.

Summertime at the Kerry Wood Nature Centre

July is finally here and after a long wait it seems to have finally brought the sunshine. Summer is such a beautiful time of year to enjoy all the wonderful outdoor activities Red Deer has to offer; the hiking, rafting, biking, running and whatever else you enjoy.

To keep your children enjoying their summer we have 5 different weeks of Day Camps:

Week 1 - July 11-15 (French Language Programming) Ages 7-12

Week 2 - July 18-22 (English Programming) Ages 6-10

Week 3 - July 25-29 (French Language Programming) Ages 7-12

Week 4 - August 8-12 (English Programming) Ages 6-10

Week 5 - August 15-19 (French Language Programming) Ages 7-12

We are proud to be able to offer French Language Day Camps for any Francophone and French Immersion children. A big thanks to the ACFA and the Canadian Parents for French for supporting french language programming!

Our Nature Magic day camps are nature based and include hands-0n science, crafts, daily walks, historical and nature based interpretive programs. Camps run Monday to Friday from 9-4:30. For more information and to book please contact us at 403-346-2010 or by email at

We are filling up fast, but space is still available!